What is the purpose of the Fund and who does the Fund represent?

The Minnesota Private College Fund provides visibility and critical support to the development efforts of 17 member private colleges and universities across the state of Minnesota (see a complete list of our member institutions). The Fund raises general operating and scholarship money from foundations and businesses through a federated appeal — a single gift helps all seventeen member campuses and their students.

Who is on the Fundraising Committee, and what does it do?

The Minnesota Private College Fund works with a Fundraising Committee, a subset of the Minnesota Private College Council Board, to establish operating goals and procedures. The current committee members are:

  • Ann Houser (chair) – Ann Houser Coaching and Consulting
  • David R. Anderson — St. Olaf College president 
  • Rev. James P. Burns, IVD — Saint Mary's University of Minnesota president 
  • Paul Cerkvenik — Minnesota Private College Council and Minnesota Private College Fund president 
  • Kathleen Cooney — retired, HealthPartners
  • Dexter Davis — Securian Financial
  • Susan Eich — Eich Public Relations
  • Rev. Brian Friedrich — Concordia University, St. Paul president 
  • Ajay K. Gupta — CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
  • Fayneese Miller — Hamline University president 
  • Teresa Mogensen — Xcel Energy
  • Jay Olson — Cargill, Incorporated
  • Gene Pfeifer — Bethany Lutheran College president 
  • Paul C. Pribbenow — Augsburg University president 
  • Sanjit Sethi — Minneapolis College of Art and Design president 
  • Angie Wordell — Graco Inc.
Are gifts to the Fund tax-deductible?

YES! In most cases, your entire contribution is tax deductible. The Minnesota Private College Fund is a tax-exempt, nonprofit Minnesota corporation. Please get the advice of a tax professional to determine the total amount that can be deducted. A written acknowledgment will be provided for tax purposes. If goods or services are provided in exchange for a contribution, the donor will receive a receipt that includes a good-faith estimate of the value of the goods and services that are not tax deductible.

What is the money used for?

The Fund raises money for two purposes:

  • General operating support, which is the toughest funding for campuses to raise — but is absolutely essential to pay for books, lab equipment, computers, utilities, maintenance, etc.
  • Scholarship dollars, to provide students from low- and middle-income families the financial means to obtain a quality college education. Scholarship donors help fund nearly 300 students each year.

Who supports the Fund?

Funding is requested from foundations and businesses. The Fund does not formally solicit individuals for financial support although gifts are accepted from those wishing to participate. The Fund's base of over 120 donors value the efficiency of receiving one request on behalf of all 17 schools and then supporting them all with a single gift.

Nearly 60 foundation, business and individual donors contribute annually to the Fund's three pooled scholarship programs — Minnesota Scholars Fund (for Minnesota natives with financial need), Access & Equity (for students of color, new Americans, and first generation students), and Galileo (for students studying in the STEM disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). 

Another 10 donors each contribute a minimum of $17,000 to fund Named Scholarships. Three additional donors have partnered with the Fund to design special named scholarship programs offering generous scholarships to nearly 60 students annually, many of whom are students of color, non-traditional students, or students from low-income families.

How are funds distributed?

The Fund is a pass-through organization — every dollar raised goes to member schools and their students. Unless otherwise designated by the donor, 60% of each gift is divided equally among the schools and 40% is divided based on enrollment.

What is the Fund's fiscal/campaign year?

The Fund's annual campaign runs from July 1 to June 30. This parallels our fiscal year, as well as the academic year of many of our member institutions.

Who manages the Fund?

A board of directors, consisting of business and community leaders and the presidents of the member colleges and universities, governs the Minnesota Private College Fund. A small, mission-driven staff of professionals carries out day-to-day activities of the Fund. See a list of our board of directors and their affiliations. See Fund staff.

How did the Minnesota Private College Fund originate?

In 1951, a group of visionary business leaders recognized Minnesota's private colleges and universities as essential to the state's future and stepped in with financial support. Together with the college presidents, they formed the Minnesota Private College Fund to ensure the colleges' continued independence and high academic standards. Since its inception, the Fund has raised nearly $91 million. The Fund's current target is to raise $1.5 million annually.

How can I give to the Fund?

Giving is easy. Check out all of our opportunities for impact, or if you have specific questions, call us at 1-888-PRI-FUND or 1-888-774-3863.

How can I contact the Fund?

Contact us at 1-888-PRI-FUND or 1-888-774-3863 or send us an email.